Which crop should be planted first?

Battle for the Belt: Which crop should be planted first, corn or soybean?

By Dr. Laura Lindsey and Dr. Osler Ortez, OSU Extension, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-05

  • Which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting?
  • Can we adjust management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting?
  • How are insects, diseases, weeds, and other factors affected by planting date?

We will address these questions (and more!) weekly during the growing season with a series of short videos. Watch Episode 1 here:

To stay up-to-date on this project, make sure to subscribe to the CORN newsletter (, subscribe to our YouTube channel (, or follow us on Twitter (@stepupsoy, @OrtezCornCrops).

For both soybean and corn, earlier planting is promoted to maximize yield. However, Ohio has a trend toward a lower number of suitable fieldwork days. With non-favorable weather, the planting date window is often short and disconnected.… Continue reading

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Corn planting dates

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20th and May 10th. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May. For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May (Nielsen, 2013). Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential. Planting early favors high yields, but it does not guarantee them and growers should not focus entirely on the calendar.… Continue reading

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Weed control in wheat

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Scouting wheat for potential weed issues is important to avoid yield loss or harvesting problems. When identifying a weed issue that requires a herbicide treatment, it is essential to apply herbicides at the correct stage of small grain growth to avoid crop injury. Making weed control decisions before or during Feekes 5.0 provides the greatest range of herbicide options. As wheat advances past jointing (Feekes 6.0) and approaches the boot stage, herbicide choices become limited. Most herbicides can be applied in UAN when the small grains are topdressed. However, applying herbicide in UAN can increase crop injury somewhat, and some labels recommend adjusting surfactant rates to minimize damage.

A few species to look for include.

  • Wild garlic can contaminate harvested grain if the grain table picks up the aerial bulblets. Several herbicides are effective if applied in the spring after the garlic has several inches of new growth.
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Survey to create a Soybean Management Systems App

By Dr.Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean Specialist, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-05

Researchers want to help you grow more profitable soybeans through the power of data science. The concept is to use data-driven knowledge to make profitable soybean management decisions in a systems approach. Soybean agronomists are developing an app to help make those decisions in real time. The more farmer data collected, the more accurate the tool will be. (And…the more data we have from Ohio, the more applicable the tool will be to our state!) The app will allow growers to drop a pin in a field, enter input variables, and receive crop management decision help directly and through online scouting tools such as Sporecaster and Tarspotter.

This is what we are asking from you:

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Tips on N for wheat

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Nitrogen is the highest variable cost line in the 2023 wheat production budget. In addition, it is an important variable in yield, lodging, and grain quality. Spring N fertilizer should be applied between green-up (Feekes 3-4) and the beginning of stem elongation or jointing (Feekes 5-6). Here are a few things to consider in determining your wheat topdress N rate.  

Ohio wheat N rate recommendations appear in the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations. Bulletin 974 (2020) is yield potential based. Table 1 shows N rate recommendations. These recommendations are for mineral soils with adequate drainage and 1% to 5% organic matter. Another important note is that the N rates in Table 1 are the total N applied. Therefore, if you used fall N, subtract that nitrogen from the Table 1 rate.

Using manure as a nitrogen source is a great opportunity considering current nitrogen prices. Lodging from excess N is a genuine concern when using manure in wheat.… Continue reading

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Ohio Field Leader Podcast, Episode 3-1-2023, Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora and Dr. Mitch Roth

Soybean research does not happen in a vacuum. Often times it is interdisciplinary. On this episode of the OFL Podcast we will visit with Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Soybean Pathologist and Nematologist, and Dr. Mitch Roth, Molecular Mycologist. Both these gentlemen work for Ohio Soybean Farmers working to try to improve the health of Ohio’s Soybean Crop. They analyze soybean pathogens from the genetic level all the way up to the field level to help farmers make better management decisions.… Continue reading

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Corn growers respond to delayed implementation for year round E15

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the implementation of a plan from eight Midwest governors to require lower-volatility gasoline in their states aimed at ensuring drivers in those states continue to have year-round access to fuel with 15% ethanol. However, EPA proposed to delay implementation until 2024. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was one of the governors behind the plan. The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association and the National Corn Growers Association supported the governors’ plan and expressed disappointment over the one-year delay in implementation and the market uncertainty the delay creates for E15 in 2023.

“Governor DeWine took action to ensure Ohioans could maintain access to low-cost, low-emissions E15,” said John Settlemyre, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association president. “With EPA’s proposed delay, Ohioans could lose access to E15 this summer, removing the opportunity to save drivers money. We urge EPA to prevent that disruption and we thank Governor DeWine for his support on this important issue.” … Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat celebrates, calls for action

By Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Ag Net

The annual Celebration of Ohio Corn & Wheat was held in Bucyrus, Ohio, on Feb. 23, 2023, to recognize the accomplishments of the organization, and the corn and wheat growers who are a part of it. The event was attended by approximately 200 growers and industry guests from all over the state. 

Executive director Tadd Nicholson recognized state Wheat Yield Contest winner Dave Lutz with association board president John Settlemyre.

Some notable award recipients included the State Wheat Yield Contest winner Dave Lutz and State Runner-Up Kent Edwards; State Corn Yield Contest winner Cory Atley and State Runner-Up Carl Atley; and scholarship winners Jacob King, Bryce Bennett, Dalton Mullins, Abigail Paxton, Matthew Gusset, Molly Hafer, Kiley Holbrook, Emerson Trapp, Carley Miller, and Tim Sullivan. 

The Celebration of Ohio Corn & Wheat is one of the ways the organization is able to publicly recognize the people who work hard every day for Ohio agriculture and look to the future.… Continue reading

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Fungicide effects on microbes

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

As Spring approaches, farmers may be considering applying fungicides to wheat, corn, and soybeans.  Fungicides are used to terminate fungus. Beneficial soil fungus like Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus (AMF) are hurt by some fungicide applications, but not all. Some fungicides (Apron, Aliette, Ridomil, Metalaxyl) stimulate some AMF to grow better by terminating pathogenic fungus that compete with AMF.  Here are some general tips about fungicide use and AMF.   

In general, foliar applications of non-systemic fungicides to leaves and stems have much less impact on AMF which live around the roots. Non-systematic means the fungicide is not as mobile in the plant or soil or generally as long-lasting. Some fungicide can wash off the plant, but the soil organic matter and diluted spray tends to have minor effects on AMF long-term. Any effect is usually short term because the AMF can regenerate. 

Soil drench applications of non-systemic fungicides are detrimental to AMF if applied before root colonization takes place.… Continue reading

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CTC (with yield champion David Hula) coming soon

By Mark Badertscher and Randall Reeder

The Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference (CTC) will be held in- person March 14-15 at Ohio Northern University in Ada. The first day of this year’s conference will feature David Hula, four-time winner of the National Corn Growers Association Yield Contest and current record holder at 616 bushels per acre – all accomplished with no-till and strip-till. His presentation has been made possible by sponsors Brandt Professional Agriculture, Calmer Corn Heads, Pioneer Seeds, and Meristem Crop Performance.

Connect with other farmers and CCAs, experience new ideas, and increase your net income. Historically over 800 individuals will attend each day of this two-day conference, making it the largest agricultural meeting in northwestern Ohio.  

The meeting and program have been developed by The Ohio State University Extension Specialists along with Agriculture and Natural Resources Educators in local counties with assistance from local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.… Continue reading

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Spring nitrogen and wheat

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Application timing and amount are key factors in achieving high winter wheat yields. While the amount of N required in the fall is relatively small, it is critical to promoting early development and tillering. With spring weather around the corner, winter wheat producers will be gearing up for spring topdress of their wheat crop. Timing and rates are critical in the spring as to maintain the high yield potential of winter wheat varieties.

Spring applications of N should be made after the plants break dormancy. Although in some situations field conditions may be favorable, nitrogen applied in the late winter before plants have broken dormancy is more likely to be lost before plants can utilize it. Spring N applications should not be made before wheat has broken dormancy and begins to green up. The University of Kentucky publication “A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky” recommends: “When making a single N fertilizer application the best time is when the crop growth stage is Feekes 4-5, (Zadoks 30, usually mid-March) just before the first joint appears on the main stem and when wheat starts growing rapidly.”… Continue reading

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Upcoming soybean research

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off.

In agriculture, the year is broken down into seasons. There is the planting season, the growing season, the harvest season, and winter meeting season. When it comes to agronomic research, they also have seasons. These include the planning season, the meeting season and the research season. Planning and research occurs all year long. Research goes on during the growing season, (and beyond in the laboratory). Meeting season occurs in the winter, as well as summer field days.

“When planning research, we try to move from the root upward,” said Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Plant Pathologist and Nematologist at The Ohio State University. “Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) will continue to be an important part of our research. We are looking at different seed treatments. We are also looking at different sources of resistance that can be effective at managing the sources of SCN resistance.”… Continue reading

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Casey named CEO of NCGA

Neil Caskey, a long-time professional in the agricultural arena, has been tapped to lead the National Corn Growers Association as its new CEO, according to the organization’s board of directors. Caskey will assume the role on Monday, Feb. 27.

NCGA board members say they are pleased to name someone of Caskey’s caliber to the top job.

“Neil’s experience in agriculture is extensive, and he is well known as someone who gets the job done well,” said Tom Haag, NCGA president. “The board and I are certain that Neil will usher in new ideas and take the organization to new heights.” 

Caskey has served as NCGA’s vice president of communications and industry relations for over four years and spent over a decade promoting agricultural issues as executive vice president at OBP Agency, a leading advertising and public relations firm. His professional background also includes work for the American Soybean Association and as a legislative aide for a U.S.… Continue reading

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Soy protein blocks LDL cholesterol

By Sharita Forrest University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

A protein in soybeans blocks production of a liver enzyme involved in the metabolism of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein, scientists found in a recent study.

Consuming soy flour rich in the protein B-conglycinin has the potential to reduce low-density lipoprotein – LDL – cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease, said Elvira de Mejia, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Scientists have long known of soybeans’ cholesterol-reducing properties and lipid-regulating effects. Researchers in the recent project at the University of Illinois investigated two soy proteins thought to be responsible for the outcomes – glycinin and B-conglycinin. They found the latter to be particularly significant.

“Soybeans’ effects on cholesterol metabolism are associated with their protein concentrations and composition,” de Mejia said. “They’re also associated with peptides embedded in them that are released during gastrointestinal digestion.”… Continue reading

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Hot topics in grain crops

By Ed Lentz, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio State University Extension Hancock County office will be offering its Hot Topics in Grain Crops Series over three evenings in February and March at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center, 7868 CR 140, Findlay, OH 45840. Each meeting will cover one specific crop — wheat, corn, and soybean. Local research results and a discussion on upcoming production issues will be presented at the meeting. There will also be a Question-and-Answer period to address any issue concerning that crop which was not part of the presentation. The programs will be led by Edwin Lentz, who has a doctorate in Crop Management and Physiology and has been providing agronomic expertise to Ohio farmers for over 30 years. Programs are free but please register by calling the Hancock County Extension office, 419-422-3851 or email at least one day before the program. Program details are given below:

  • Hot Topics in Corn Production.
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Solutions for actively managing SCN go beyond genetics

By The SCN Coalition

“Don’t ever let politics or pessimism deter you from producing novel and bold strategies,” said Ed Anderson, executive director of the North Central Soybean Research Program, to kickoff the 2022 National Soybean Nematode Conference. Those presenting at the conference have clearly embraced that mission.

A hot topic at the event was a new genetic tool for managing soybean cyst nematode (SCN) that’s expected to hit the market late this decade.

“The new Bt SCN resistance trait developed by BASF will slow the rate of increasing yield loss, but it alone won’t fix the problem,” said Greg Tylka, nematologist at Iowa State University and a leader of The SCN Coalition. The mounting economic toll of parasitic nematodes must not be met with complacency. Barring the unexpected development of a silver bullet, an active, multipronged defense against SCN will be needed.

SCN is a mounting economic threat

SCN currently costs farmers 5.5 bushels an acre, equating to roughly $1.5 billion in yield loss each year, estimates Mike McCarville, trait development manager at BASF.… Continue reading

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Upcoming conservation tillage events

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired), Ohio State University

Farmers interested in increasing their corn yields by 20 or 30 bu/acre will want to learn from David Hula of Charles City, VA. He has won the yield contest 4 times, and has the current record of 616 bushels per acre.

He will share major points about maximizing yield during the General Session, starting at 8:30 a.m., March 14. Then he will answer your questions for 2 hours after lunch. David assures us that he keeps no secrets; he shares his practices, including what has not worked and what works best. He will answer your questions honestly.

We could not have brought David Hula to CTC without major support from Calmer Corn Heads, Brandt Products, Meristem, and Pioneer.

Starting at 10:00 a.m., the conference breaks into 4 concurrent sessions. On Day 2, there are also 4 concurrent sessions, from 8:30 to ~4:30.… Continue reading

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Importance of uniform corn emergence

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA , Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Two aspects of stand establishment often discussed by agronomists are emergence and seed spacing. “Picket fence” spacing in corn helps plants grow efficiently and minimizes competition between them. Uniform spacing is an important part of stand establishment. More importantly, however, is uniform emergence. Plants that are just 1 leaf collar behind (due to uneven emergence) significantly reduce yield. According to Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska Extension ag engineer, “When a plant develops ahead of its neighbor, it hurts yield dramatically. It’s going to vary somewhat from year to year, but a plant lagging behind those around it becomes a weed.” To achieve uniform emergence, consistent planting depth is critical.

Field conditions, gauge wheel settings, unit down pressure, and planter speed all affect seeding depth. Set planter depth and check it regularly. A planter may have enough weight to apply the proper down force when full, but what about when it’s almost empty?… Continue reading

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Soybean Defoliation Assessment

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off.

Photosynthesis takes place in the leaves of Soybeans. The amount of leaf surface area to absorb sunlight is an important factor in a soybean crop reaching its yield potential. Soybeans do a remarkable job compensating for reduced leaf tissue.  Regardless if it is from insect feeding or hail damage, a soybean’s ability to compensate should not be underestimated.  

The potential of defoliation from hail damage cannot be avoided. The ability to reduce leaf defoliation from insect feeding is possible, and it is an important management decision. The decision to treat soybeans increases the cost of production and may slightly reduce the yield depending on the time of application and equipment used.  It is important to consider the growth stage of the soybeans as well as level of defoliation when determining if a treatment should be made.… Continue reading

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CRP signup 2023

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can begin applying for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General signup starting Feb. 27 through April 7, 2023. CRP is a cornerstone voluntary conservation program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a key tool in the Biden-Harris administration’s effort to address climate change and help agricultural communities invest in the long-term well-being of their land and natural resources.  

“The Conservation Reserve Program is one of the largest private lands conservation programs in the United States, offering a range of conservation options to farmers, ranchers and landowners,” Vilsack said. “CRP has and continues to be a great fit for farmers with less productive or marginal cropland, helping them re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and support wildlife habitat. Under this administration, we have made several updates to the program to increase producer interest and enrollment, strengthen the climate benefits of the program and help ensure underserved producers can find a pathway to entry into CRP.”  … Continue reading

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